U.S. Housing Market Highlights from Freddie Mac 

Here are highlights of the latest Freddie Mac Economic Outlook for the U.S. Housing Market for June 2017.

U.S. Housing Market Signs

  • May marked the 80th consecutive month of job gains. The unemployment rate dropped another 0.1 percentage points to 4.3 percent. Despite last month's lull in housing data, the economy will continue to bolster the overall housing market.

  • In April, housing starts fell 2.6 percent and permits for single-family homes also declined. After a strong March, home sales also a took a hit with new home sales falling 11.4 percent and existing home sales falling 2.3 percent in April. These recent declines are likely to reverse as low mortgage interest rates and solid job gains boost the housing market. 

  • Average mortgage rates have declined more than they have risen in recent weeks. However, they are still almost 50 basis points higher than last year's low. Unless rates fall below 3.5 percent for an extended period, refinance volume will fall short of last year's levels. Expect mortgage origination volumes to decline $370 billion for 2017.

  • Strong demand and a short supply of housing in many markets continues to push house prices higher. Expect house price appreciation to be over 5 percent for 2017.

  • In the first quarter of 2017, the homeownership rate was 63.6 percent -- six percentage points lower than its peak in 2004 when it reached its all-time high of 69.2 percent.